It’s pretty easy to knock Republicans. So often, they’re the types who go along to get along. They don’t make waves. They concede. They willingly negotiate. They back down. If they’re really bad, they become NeverTrumps.
And sometimes they surprise us.
On Monday, seven states, in addition to having their apparently victorious Democrat electors cast their votes for president, also authorized Republican electors to cast their votes to make a record. It was wonderful.
I’m sure other, better writers than I will write about what happened on Monday, but here’s my say. Monday was the day when the states designated their electors to cast the states’ votes for president. By day’s end, creepy, confused Joe Biden had 306 electoral votes.
Democrats are ecstatic, believing they now have a signed, sealed, and delivered White House. They don’t.
The Supreme Court currently appears to be a craven institution. Many think the Court is sending a message saying that if Democrat Senate candidates win in Georgia, giving both the White House and Congress to the Democrats, it will rubber-stamp everything the Democrats do. In this way, the justices hope to prevent court-packing that will diminish their prestige and cachet. Still, we might yet be surprised.
Additionally, more evidence keeps emerging about massive fraud. The audit of the Antrim Dominion machines shows that they were programmed for fraud and almost certainly used as programmed. There are also affidavits signed under penalty of perjury from eyewitnesses and expert witnesses across America about fraud and the indicia of fraud. There’s the infamous video from Georgia (and there may be more videos emerging, although that’s hopeful guessing on my part). And there’s the redoubtable Sidney Powell, who says she has documentary evidence that votes were sent overseas and manipulated there. This, she says, could trigger Trump’s 2018 executive order imposing sanctions if there was foreign interference in an election. At the time, that E.O. appeared to be a response to the Russia collusion hoax, but Trump may have been looking ahead, not backward.
The director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, will be issuing his report on December 18. If there really is provable massive fraud or foreign interference, the election cannot stand.
To prepare for these possibilities — either judicial courage or such overwhelming fraud that the election cannot stand — seven states did something unusual and courageous. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico all selected two slates of electors: one slate accepts a Democrat victory, but the other slate anticipates a turnaround, whether judicial or because of such overwhelming proof of fraud or foreign interference that Biden’s “victory” must fail.
In Michigan, there was even some extra drama. The State Police attempted to block the Republican electors from entering the capitol, but those efforts were foiled.
According to Reuters, if states select different slates of electors, the House and the Senate can simply ignore one of those slates. However, if the House and the Senate select different slates from those states, it’s entirely unclear what happens next, especially since the Electoral Count Act (which cannot trump the Constitution) is muddled:
Academics have sketched out several scenarios. Under one, Pence as president of the Senate could throw out both sets of a state’s electors. Another contemplates that the House of Representatives would end up choosing between Biden and Trump. [This scenario would give one vote to each state and since the Republicans have more states with Republican majorities, President Trump would likely be the winner]. There is even a scenario in which the Speaker of the House, currently Democrat Nancy Pelosi, could become acting president.
Sir Austen Chamberlain, speaking in Birmingham, gave voice to an apparently nonexistent old Chinese curse. Chinese or not, it seems pertinent to the election we’re facing: “May you live in interesting times.” Let us hope the entire weight of the curse falls on the cheaters, not the cheated.